Boardwalk Empire

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He's There, the Phantom of the Brothel

Meanwhile, Jimmy takes Harrow to the brothel, showing off the women like they're his prized bottlecap collection. After a couple bourbons (Harrow takes his with a straw), they talk about guns. Or rather, Harrow does, with the concentration and specificity of a savant -- or, more likely, a shell-shocked sniper. Jimmy can't really keep up with all this Aspergersy talk, so instead he calls a whore over and sends Harrow up to the bedrooms with her. The woman, Odette, doesn't flinch when she sees the mask on Harrow's face (though, to be honest, you can see Not Flinching all over her face). I guess while Atlantic City is churning out whiskey, Chicago is leading the nation in hookers with hearts of gold. She leads him upstairs, offering him the thanks of a grateful nation. Guess that's what they called it back then.

Nucky's partaking of a drink at a local establishment called the I'm Just Going to Say "Juke Joint" And Hope It's Not Racist. He's Annabel's man with the loose change in his pockets, Harry Price. Harry's played by Michael Badalucco, who won an Emmy for The Practice, which even seems insane to me, and I loved that show. The men talk business, while Harry also watch black folk dance like they're in an exhibit. Chalky shows up and endures some of Harry's casual racism ("You people certainly are a lively bunch!"), then turns to Nucky and tells him he met Nucky's "boy," Mr. Lewis. Nucky, of course, doesn't know a thing about this, but Chalky thinks this is all part of Nucky's ruse. Boy, this would be a heck of a way for Nucky and Chalky's partnership to start deteriorating. And before they fulfill my dream of adding a third partner named Shecky! So Chalky's all, "So that's how it's gonna be," and leaves. Nucky barely has time to be bewildered before he and Harry are joined by Margaret and Annabel. The women tease their men about only talking business and politics, and Harry jokes back that he'll also talk baseball. This leads Nucky to a story about an old catcher's mitt he once owned, signed by Hardy Richardson, "my prized possession." Annabel coaxes Harry up to dance, and while on the dance floor, she manages to flirt with some of the black guys. Not sure if this interracial coziness is what moves Nucky to cluck his disapproval of Annabel to Margaret, but at any rate he quips that she's been with a few of his powerful friends so far. Margaret changes the subject by asking about the mitt -- does he still have it? Nucky evades the topic, only saying a bunch of kids beat him up and robbed him for it. Margaret presses, ignoring her decision to keep away from Nucky's personal trauma, but this time it's Nucky who doesn't want to talk about it.

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Boardwalk Empire

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